Three Things I Learned from the Zhou Dynasty

September 17, 2007

Yan Xishan is a historical figure, it should come as no surprise that I pay attention to history. Here are three things I learned from the Zhou Dynasty, in particular the way they overthrew the Shang.

1. Have a plan. Most hippie slackers today can barely tell you what they will be doing next week.  Hell, the next day.  But the Zhou had a plan, a long term plan at that.  We are talking multi-generational shit here!  My boy Tai develops the plan, has the whole clan get up and migrate to the center of the Shang empire.

2. If you are going to overthrow a dynasty, have a suitable name.  King Wu–the “martial king.”  You think the Shang would have seen that coming.

3. After overthrowing a dynasty, come up with a ridiculous new cosmological order to justify your act of treachery.  AKA the “Mandate of Heaven.”

As for that last one… I wish I had thought of that before I helped bring down the Qing.  I just kind of got stuck with this “modernization” rationale.  I don’t know, if I had time to think of something, I might have gone with “Buddha sent me to rule the world.”


More Wisdom to Hang in the Office

September 9, 2007

This one is for all of you who are enjoying the good life in China–particuarly the Qingdao guzzling laowai among you.

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